Four Elite Ice Hockey League games and one in the Challenge Cup are on offer tonight. Belfast & Nottingham play the final games in their three-game road trips, while new league leaders Fife defend top spot in Cardiff.
After going top of the league last night, it’s a huge game in Wales as the Fife Flyers arrive in Cardiff looking to cement their position at the top against the Devils who are just three points behind. The hosts had a big win over Sheffield last night to put them in confident mood as well.
“Fife have had a fantastic start to the season and still haven’t lost in regulation in the league. They added some very talented players in the summer and seem to be just going from strength to strength. They caused us trouble last year on several occasions so we’re definitely expecting another difficult game. It’ll also be the first time we play against Paul Crowder so that obviously adds another layer to this game and with it also being our first 4 pm face off of the season, we’re definitely in for a special game at home.” Andrew Lord (Cardiff Devils, Head Coach)
“The important thing is that we have to play the right way for 60 minutes. We’ve been guilty a number of times over the season of not doing that. I was happy we won the game last night, but for us to seriously compete in this league night in night out, we have to compete for 60 minutes. It’s been a wonderful start, we want that to continue, but we still have a few holes that we need to plug.” Todd Dutiaume (Head Coach, Fife Flyers)
The Steelers’ loss in Cardiff last night gave them the unwanted record of having lost six games in a row in the league. Manchester meanwhile come into tonight’s game after a real seesaw battle with Dundee last that they won in Overtime.
“Sheffield will be interesting, there’s a lot of pressure for them to perform at home. We will be prepared for a battle as we look to pick up some valuable points on the road.” Ryan Finnerty (Head Coach)
The Panthers have so far conceded 13 goals in their previous two Scottish road games, but arrive in Dundee to face a Stars side that have lost their last seven league games in a row – although they’ve picked up a point in their previous two. The hosts will no doubt want to complete a miserable road trip for the Panthers who have gone down in Glasgow and Fife, and are without a win in three.
“It will be our first time playing against one of the league favourites . It will be a good test to see how we match up against them.” Omar Pacha (Head Coach, Dundee Stars)
“You will not win games, you will not win a championship, you will not win a challenge cup if everybody does not respect each other, the team and find ways to win games. That’s the part that we’re having and we’re struggling with right now. We need everybody to buy in with what they’re asked to do, start to finish, starting in Dundee tonight.” Rich Chernomaz (Head Coach, Nottingham Panthers)
Guildford Flames vs. Belfast Giants (Tickets)
It’s seven league wins in a row for the Belfast Giants as they play the last in their three-game road trip tonight in Guildford. The Flames will have the advantage of not having played so far this weekend, but are going in to the game off the back of three straight league losses.
“We have already had a look at Giants this season when we visited them last week. They are a very skilled side with a lot of depth up and down the lineup. We only have the Sunday game and they are coming to us for the 3rd game in 3 nights so we need to have a lot of energy and try to be able to use that to our advantage. We have added Brett Ferguson back into the fold so that should be a real boost both in terms of energy and overall skill depth. We are looking forward to a great game and hopefully we can pick up a result.” Paul Dixon (Head Coach, Guildford Flames)
“It was certainly in the back of my mind in MK that we had the game tonight. I wanted to make sure we were responsible in the third period last night to get the game won, and not waste any extra energy.” Adam Keefe (Head Coach, Belfast Giants)
If either Coventry or MK are to qualify from their Challenge Cup group, then they’ll need to take a win here to move themselves back among the top two in the group. The Lightning come into this game off the back of two straight losses to Belfast in the league, whereas Coventry will be buoyed by their win in Glasgow last night.
“It’s a massive game for us. We need the two points to try to move on. I think we control our own destiny so hopefully we’ll come out Sunday with a big team effort and win. They are a really good team with a never quit attitude and a fantastic goaltender. We haven’t exactly done as well as we’d have liked in the Challenge Cup so far, but the good thing is that we have two games left and that starts with the big one on Sunday.” Alex Nikiforuk (Forward, Coventry Blaze)
“They’re a very strong team down the middle with Nikiforuk, Pauly and Ainsworth and it will be important to limit their time and space with the puck to take away their passing options. They’re coming off a split with Manchester last weekend, so they’re playing very well right now, and that will be a test for us on our third game in 72 hours.” Doug McKay (Head Coach, MK Lightning)